Practice Development Counsel

Phyllis weiss haserot
Phyllis weiss haserot

President & Founder

212 593-1549

Articles: Strategic Business Development Archives

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Integration Of Laterals Checklists

Your Lateral Hiring Committee has successfully attracted desirable experienced lawyers to the firm. Management and the partners have voted them in. Whether the focus is on an individual or a group, how do you assure that the laterals and the practices will be integrated effectively into the firm? This checklist lays out the important steps.


  • The Management Committee puts someone in charge.
    — If the addition is an individual or two, the appropriate person in charge is probably the practice group or department head.
    — If a new group is added, Management should designate a partner to head the integration effort. It may be coordinated by the Marketing Director.
  • When a group is added, an integration plan should be developed and circulated to the management Committee, the department/practice group heads and the Business Development Committee. Appropriate assistance from partners and the marketing professional can be determined from there.
  • If one or two partners are added, a business plan should be developed by the laterals and partners with related practices.
  • The integration point person is responsible for making sure the new additions become familiar with the attorneys and staff and vice versa.


  • Communicate the news of the additions as soon as feasible to all legal personnel and staff. Explain the benefits to the firm and its clients.
  • Make integration a high priority.
  • Build in-person familiarity through encouragement of face-to-face contact and informal one-on-one meetings.
  • When a group is brought in, consider assigning "buddies" so that each attorney and staff member has someone to go to with questions and help with introductions.
  • Schedule presentations for all legal personnel to learn capabilities and accomplishments. Formal presentations (cross-selling briefings) should be supplemented with smaller, informal group meetings or lunches both for familiarity and to lay out action plans.
  • Use all internal communication vehicles, such as internal newsletters and e-mail, to help the new people become known as professionals and as people.
  • Plan social opportunities: welcoming cocktail reception, lunches, breakfasts, sports activities, etc.
  • et business goals to define expectations and to use as a gauge of success.
  • Rethink strategies to foster responsiveness and cooperation for joint marketing and cross-selling.
  • Focus on integration for at least six months.
  • Pay sufficient attention to cultural fit.
  • Have an “exit strategy” if the relationship doesn't work.


  • Coordinate all marketing through the Business Development Committee.
  • Inform clients quickly and as personally as possible.
  • Send personal letters to clients, prospects and referral sources.
  • Run professional announcement ads in appropriate legal, business and trade press.
  • Send out news releases to the media announcing the additions and including a “positioning statement” of the significance.
  • Plan and conduct joint seminars for clients and others to demonstrate the integration of practices.
  • Update print marketing materials.
  • Put an announcement of the additions on the firm web site and add information where appropriate.

© Phyllis Weiss Haserot 1995.